Dr Crokes bounced back from a poor start to defeat East Kerry rivals Rathmore (1-15 to 1-10) at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney yesterday and advanced to a sixth consecutive Kerry Club SFC final.
Rathmore had a dream start thanks to a Paul Murphy goal inside a minute while midfielder Mark Ryan and older brother Shane also had Dr Crokes on the back foot.
However, with Colm Cooper and Jordan Kiely to the fore, Crokes eventually used the breeze to their advantage and they led 0-10 to 1-5 lead at half-time.
The introduction of Kieran O’Leary and David Shaw strengthened Crokes on the restart as Rathmore struggled. Rathmore’s task became more difficult when Daithi Casey converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Kiely in the 41st minute — that strike opened a 1-13 to 1-5 lead. Rathmore’s John Moynihan had to be satisfied with a point after goalkeeper Shane Murphy produced a stunning save from close range. Dr Crokes await the winners of Killarney Legion and Kenmare Shamrocks in the decider.
Killarney Legion produced the result of the day when winning at Dingle (1-12 to 1-11) in a first-round replay. Conor Keane kicked the winning point after Paul Geaney had levelled for Dingle. Legion led 1-7 to 0-8 at the break, with Conor Culloty getting their goal. Geaney netted for Dingle to tie the game at 1-9 apiece in the 43rd minute before Keane’s late heroics.
The battle of the last two All-Ireland Club JFC champions went the way of the 2016 winners as Templenoe eked out a 1-10 to 0-11 win over current holders Glenbeigh/Glencar at the Kenmare District venue on Saturday evening in the intermediate football championship.
Although the hosts were the better team throughout, they made hard work of their win on an evening when their Mid Kerry opponents scored only three points from play.
St Mary’s will be serious challengers for the title after defeating Castleisland Desmonds yesterday. Tomas Hickey goaled for Desmonds while Kieran Brennan kicked some fine points with the wind. Sean Cournane and Damien Casey got the St Mary’s goals but they trailed 2-2 to 2-8 at half-time. But the South Kerry outfit kicked on in the second half with goals from Bryan Sheehan and Daniel Daly for a 4-10 to 2-12 win.
Meanwhile, Jack Barry and brother Andrew were inspirational as Na Gaeil reached the Premier Junior semi-final, defeating local rivals Churchill 0-17 to 2-6.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved